'This post was originally published in Nov 2015. It was updated in December 2018 to include updated information and links to resources.'
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Advent in Narnia.....Reflections for the Season
Like so many others, I grew up reading and loving the adventure, mystery and excitement of the Narnia series. So a Christmas season devotional based on these books, and more particularly 'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe' was sure to interest and delight. Certainly, the cold winter landscape of Narnia with the people watching and looking for a king is the perfect parallel for the Christmas story.
I did, however, feel a small degree of reservation before I opened the pages of this book; well, to be precise, flipped open the e-pages on my iPad. (It's not exactly the same, is it?) But I wondered if the readings would be more about the Narnia books and less about the Saviour.
I was reassured by Heidi Haverkamp's comment, "My purpose in writing this book is not to help you know Narnia better but to know God better.... I hope that by spending a little time in Narnia, this Advent, you will get to know Aslan- and Jesus Christ- better, and to prepare for Jesus' birth at Christmas all the more richly for it."
I particularly liked the introduction to this series. The opening reading reminds us of our need for Jesus. He alone can lead us beyond the shadows of our current lives through the doorway to love and life. It's a great starting position for this book of Christmas devotions.
"My purpose in writing this book is not to help you know Narnia better but to know God better.... I hope that by spending a little time in Narnia, this Advent, you will get to know Aslan- and Jesus Christ- better, and to prepare for Jesus' birth at Christmas all the more richly for it."
You'll find daily devotions with titles like, 'A Great Light', 'Turkish Delight,' 'The Lamppost,' and the 'Full Armour of God.' If you are familiar with the Narnia stories, I'm sure that these words immediately bring certain scenes from the book to mind. Heidi suggests reading along in the novel to refresh your memory of the story as Narnia sheds new light on the Christmas story. (You could also watch the movie.) Questions for reflection accompany each devotion.
The book also includes resources for churches. There are Small Group questions for discussion or reflection. You'll also find instructions for presenting a church Narnia Night for Families with ideas for decorations, activity stations, costumes, crafts and more, leading into the church Christmas service and prayer. If you're looking for a more meaningful fun Christmas focus for your own family, you could present a simplified Narnia version that would make your Christmas truly memorable.
Whether you know and love Narnia books or have just heard of them, I think you will enjoy this Advent devotional and will wonder anew, this Christmas, 'at the depth of God's love, the power of Christ's grace and totality of his sacrifice.'
I would like to thank Westminster John Knox Press for providing me with the opportunity to read, and review, this book. (Copy provided for personal review through NetGalley.)
Advent in Narnia -by Heidi Haverkamp
Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press
RRP: $32.00 (Kindle $9.50)
Format: Hardcover, Paperback, Kindle
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